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Using a digital Suica on JR Central & JR West 2020/8/21 12:18
The below is from https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/suica.html

gThe Suica cannot be used for continuous travel between areas. The use of transportation begun in one area must be ended in that area. When crossing from one area to another, first leave the ticket gate and then re-enter.h

The last sentence is vague to me so I was wondering if someone could break it down in layman terms. Which ticket gate? If I was going to Gifu station from Kobe station would I have to leave the ticket gates at maybe Maibara station (still in JR West area I presume) and re-enter before crossing the border to Gifu ken which is in JR Central area?

by JAY (guest)  

Re: JR Central & JR West - Digital Suica 2020/8/21 13:46
IC cards do not cover the JR section between Maibara and Gifu. You cannot use an IC card for that trip, but have to buy paper tickets. The Icoca area ends at Maibara (JR West), but the Toica area (JR Central) does not start until Samegai Station, the next station after Maibara. The two areas are disjoint.

The only way to make the trip by IC card is to take Kintetsu between the Osaka/Kyoto and Nagoya areas.

Icoca area:
https://www.jr-odekake.net/icoca/area/map/all.html

Toica area:
https://toica.jr-central.co.jp/area/_img/ind_bod_img_01_L.gif
by Uji rate this post as useful

Re: JR Central & JR West - Digital Suica 2020/8/21 14:09
Thanks Uji.

Paper tickets from the start of the trip I think would be the best option as it would be a waste of time getting off the disjointed part just to buy a paper ticket and getting back on and waiting for another train.
by JAY (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Using a digital Suica on JR Central & JR West 2020/8/22 06:47
"When crossing from one area to another, first leave the ticket gate and then re-enter."
I have encountered this here in Tokyo when I did a trip from the JR East area (west Tokyo) to JR Central area. I was going somewhere to somewhere like Mishima (it was a while ago) and it took a while on local trains. I had thought it could have been that there were too many options for the SUICA to work out which was the correct fare, but it was easily taken care of at the maned ticket gate (I was charged more than my actual route, but correctly for one of the alternatives), but my understanding is that it was due to riding trains of two different companies and I should have exited and re-entered at Atami (which is jointly operated by the two companies).
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Using a digital Suica on JR Central & JR West 2020/8/22 07:24
but my understanding is that it was due to riding trains of two different companies and I should have exited and re-entered at Atami

No, it was because the Toica area and Suica area are disjoint, and travel by IC cards between two disjoint areas is not possible (just like in case of Maibara-Gifu).

You can see here that the Suica coverage area ends at Atami:
https://www.jreast.co.jp/suica/area/tokyo/pdf/tokyomap.pdf

And you can see here that the Toica coverage area starts at Kannami Station, which is two stations west of Atami. There is a gap between Atami and Kannami which cannot be bridged with an IC card. Paper tickets should be used for such journeys.
by Uji rate this post as useful

Re: Using a digital Suica on JR Central & JR West 2020/8/22 14:18
@Uji - It could have as easily have been a PASMO card - in any event it was accepted for payment of the fare at Mishima.
I notice the title of the thread is for a digital Suica, rather than generally about SUICA or physical cards. I would not that think that makes a material difference. Also, for different card areas, other than a few places that had exceptions on the general acceptance of SUICA/PASMO cards across the country, either could be used (a previous exception was the JR ferry to Miyajima where PiTaPa was the default - fortunately since upgraded) I tend to follow the general advice that the cards are inter-changable across the country and do not pay much attention if Im using one of the many cards I have from around the country, so for the "TOICA Area" I would certainly not bother to get another card just for that. Certainly JR Central mention that their card works elsewhere in the country.
As an BTW, looking at the TOICA network map, despite Atami being a joint JR Central and JR East station and the line between Kannami and Atami being owned/operated by JR Central, they exclude that section from the IC card coverage area. Just another one of those details about where the coverage starts and ends. It's pretty easy to enter the rail network in an IC card coverage area and then head a long (long) way out side - I did that back in December in Kyushu - didn't even think it would be an issue, and it was a minor inconvenience at the time (easy fixed/rectified).
One other point worth mentioning here, and inferred in the thread comments, use of IC cards across the country is certainly not universal. There are still many places I go where they are not valid for train trips, and getting a physical ticket is still necessary. But, that's pretty easy to do.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Using a digital Suica on JR Central & JR West 2020/8/23 12:25
It could have as easily have been a PASMO card

The type of the card does not matter. I get the feeling my explanations in the previous post were not clear enough.

- in any event it was accepted for payment of the fare at Mishima.

... at a manned counter. It means that the station staff had to "fix" your card because you used it across disjoint IC card areas.

I notice the title of the thread is for a digital Suica, rather than generally about SUICA or physical cards.

It does not make a difference unless he used it for the shinkansen.

I tend to follow the general advice that the cards are inter-changable across the country

Yes, they are. Ten of them:
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2359_003.html

so for the "TOICA Area" I would certainly not bother to get another card just for that.

That is not necessary, indeed.

As an BTW, looking at the TOICA network map, despite Atami being a joint JR Central and JR East station and the line between Kannami and Atami being owned/operated by JR Central, they exclude that section from the IC card coverage area.

That is the central message of my previous message. It makes the two IC card areas disjoint. And it is the reason why you cannot use IC cards to travel between Atami and Mishima.

It's pretty easy to enter the rail network in an IC card coverage area and then head a long (long) way out side

That is not possible and will cause the station staff additional work. The more people do it, the larger the inconvenience becomes for the station staff. Please refrain from doing it.

There are still many places I go where they are not valid for train trips, and getting a physical ticket is still necessary.

That is very true. One example of when paper tickets are necessary is for travel between disjoint IC card areas.
by Uji rate this post as useful

Re: Using a digital Suica on JR Central & JR West 2020/8/23 14:54
Hi @Uji, I wasn't disagreeing,refuting or misunderstanding your comments, they were sufficiently clear - I use the trains across the country extensively, both local and long distance - and have encountered (and tested) more than the usual number of operators and exceptions over the last decade than many casual users. However, entering the train network and then going a long way using an IC card is entirely possible. My case in December was Kagoshima-Chuo to Ibutsuki, and yes it did make more work, but it was not intentional - I had falsely assumed it was covered not realising how small the local IC card area was (my previous journeys to Ibutsuki had been covered by different tickets). The example I mentioned, a three hour trip from my home to Mishima is also a reasonable length for a trip (crossing the JR East/JR Central boundary) and it's not like there are signs pointing that out at Atami. But a three hour trip is hardly out of the ordinary - I've got the trip from my house to Narita airport down to around 2 hours (swapping from JR to the Keisei main line, and also because it's cheaper), and I do that regularly (although not this year).
I also recall an experiment a few years back when I did some local trains heading from Sendai back to Tokyo (did some of that on SUICA) - it was painfully slow so a shinkansen ticket became value for money. But in that case, I could have entered the system using my PASMO card and gone 400km back to Tokyo.

While out this afternoon I was also thinking about a point the OP raised about needing to change trains - they would need to do that anyway (at Maibara) for their Kobe to Nagoya example.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Using a digital Suica on JR Central & JR West 2020/8/24 06:09
Yes, using IC cards over long distances is certainly possible if you stay within a single IC card area (or transfer between Kintetsu and another railway company in the Nagoya area). Fun fact: JR West limits IC card usage within their huge IC card area to 200 kilometer journeys (except when using limited express trains along certain sections). Not sure why. But I suspect it is because of possible abuse by cheating customers.

But in that case, I could have entered the system using my PASMO card and gone 400km back to Tokyo.

The Sendai and Tokyo IC card areas are disjoint. Therefore, travel by IC card is not possible between Sendai and Tokyo (unless you use the shinkansen with an e-ticket from Ekinet).

All the railway companies publish maps of their IC card coverage areas. In my opinion it is the customer's responsibility to be aware of the card's validity. Until all of Japan is covered by IC cards, the issue will remain a complicated one.
by Uji rate this post as useful

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